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Old 09-03-2010, 11:16 AM   #1
Sep 2007
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(CNN) -- First there was the discovery of dozens of bottles of 200-year-old champagne, but now salvage divers have recovered what they believe to be the world's oldest beer, taking advertisers' notion of 'drinkability' to another level.

Though the effort to lift the reserve of champagne had just ended, researchers uncovered a small collection of bottled beer on Wednesday from the same shipwreck south of the autonomous Aland Islands in the Baltic Sea.

"At the moment, we believe that these are by far the world's oldest bottles of beer," Rainer Juslin, permanent secretary of the island's ministry of education, science and culture, told CNN on Friday via telephone from Mariehamn, the capital of the Aland Islands.

"It seems that we have not only salvaged the oldest champagne in the world, but also the oldest still drinkable beer. The culture in the beer is still living."

Juslin said officials had talked to a local brewer about whether the new-found beer might be able to yield its recipe after experts decipher the brew's ingredients.

The newest find came as divers unearthed bottles separate from the earlier champagne find. While lifting a few to the surface, one exploded from pressure. A dark fluid seeped from the broken bottle, which they realized was beer.

All the cargo on the ship -- including the beer and champagne -- is believed to have been transported sometime between 1800 and 1830, according to Juslin. He said the wreck was about 50 meters deep (roughly 164 feet) in between the Aland island chain and Finland.

The cargo was aboard a ship believed to be heading from Copenhagen, Denmark, to St Petersburg, Russia. It could have possibly been sent by France's King Louis XVI to the Russian Imperial Court.

"Champagne of this kind was popular in high levels [of society] and was exclusive to rich groups -- it was not a drink for common people then," Juslin said.

Experts estimated the exclusive bubbly to be worth tens of thousands of euros per bottle. The value of the beer has not been determined. It is also unknown whether the beer went flat while sitting at the bottom of the Baltic for such a long time.

Some of the bottles of champagne were originally produced by Juglar, a premium champagne house no longer in existence, according to Juslin.

He said the cold sea water was a perfect way to store the spirits, with the temperature remaining a near-constant 4-5 degrees Celsius (around freezing temperature in Fahrenheit, or 32 degrees) and no light to expedite the spoiling process.

Investigators and historians have not yet unraveled the mystery surrounding the exact origin of the ship or the date when the ship went down.

Juslin said other artifacts were still lying in the shipwreck, but it would take several months to lift them out of the wreck.

The islands are at the entrance of the Gulf of Bothnia, in the Baltic Sea. They have Swedish-speaking people, though the island itself falls under Finnish protection. The Aland chain forms a Nordic archipelago of more than 6,000 skerries and islands.

an interesting read, i thought i would share.

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Old 09-03-2010, 11:46 AM   #2
Sep 2008
Phoenix, Arizona, USA, Arizona
Posts: 388
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wow. yes very interesting find. thanks for sharing! would be interesting to find out the recipe and to see if any clones surface. as long as it isnt along the lines of civil war beer lmao

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Old 09-03-2010, 11:49 AM   #3
Jun 2009
Idaho, Nampa
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That is interesting, thanks!

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Old 09-03-2010, 12:06 PM   #4
Aug 2009
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Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts the yeeeassst!

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Old 09-03-2010, 12:09 PM   #5
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Apr 2009
☼ Clearwater, FL ☼
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Thanks for sharing. Very cool.
- Andrew

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Old 09-03-2010, 12:18 PM   #6
Mar 2010
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Now let's all wait patiently for the Dogfish Head clone.

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Old 09-03-2010, 12:27 PM   #7
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Jun 2007
Greenville, SC
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200+ years of lagering at the bottom of the Baltic. This could be interesting.

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Old 09-03-2010, 12:30 PM   #8
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Nov 2007
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Originally Posted by devilishprune View Post
Now let's all wait patiently for the Dogfish Head clone.
Ditto. My first thoughts as well. Someone call Sam.
Tap Room Hobo

I should have stuck to four fingers in Vegas.

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Old 09-03-2010, 12:32 PM   #9
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Jan 2008
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World's oldest bottle bomb!

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Old 09-03-2010, 02:25 PM   #10
May 2010
Bay City, MI
Posts: 916
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Im waiting for one of those guys to start a thread on here...

"My beers been at the bottom of the baltic sea for 200 years... Is it still any good."


"My beers been at the bottom of the baltic sea for 200 years and its still not carbed, should I leave it for another 100 years."

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